Bishop Blair on the LCWR:
There can be no "middle ground" on matters of faith and morals, the bishop who conducted the Vatican-ordered doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said in an interview that aired July 25 on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" program.
Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, one of two U.S. bishops assisting Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle in providing "review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of LCWR, was responding to a call for dialogue by Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell, LCWR president, on the same program July 17.
"If by dialogue they mean that the doctrines of the church are negotiable and the bishops represent one position and the LCWR presents another position, and somehow we find a middle ground about basic church teaching on faith and morals, then no," he said. "I don't think that is the kind of dialogue that the Holy See would envision.
Bishop Blaire on homosexual simulation of marriage:
The Roman Catholic Church condemns violence and hatred against anyone, including homosexuals. It teaches that persons with a homosexual inclination must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358) Good pastoral practice encourages families to accept their children, no matter what their sexual orientation, and not break relationships with them. The church believes that it is possible, by the grace of God, to live chastely, no matter what a persons sexual inclination may be, and it looks for ways to offer hope and support for this to happen.
At the same time, however, for reasons that go far beyond the issue of homosexuality, the church continues to be at the forefront in upholding marriage as a union of one man and one woman that is marked by permanence, exclusivity, procreation and family.
Law is a teacher that is meant to inform and uphold the common good. Calling homosexual relationships marriage means that a romantic co-habitating partnership is sufficient. The inevitable effect is to further weaken peoples understanding and commitment to marriage, not only as permanent and exclusive, but also as procreative in a way that only opposite sexes can be.
Redefining a fundamental institution of life and society simply on the basis of feelings and sympathy for others should give us pause. The state and its laws do not create marriage, but only regulate and promote it for the sake of the human flourishing that marriage provides, as the social sciences have shown time and again. If the state can create a fiction of marriage, then what other realities and relationships will it claim the right to redefine, regulate or create, just as it is already doing with human life itself? And if society, on the basis of demonstrated values, is no longer able to refuse any claimed right, then what behaviors can we expect to be sanctioned in the future? What prevents these behaviors not only from being accepted, but also promoted and enforced, as equal to other behaviors? And what about the freedom religious or otherwise of those who cannot and will not accede to societys brave new world?
This looks good for Hartford Archdiocese.